Isn't it fun to watch a live auctioneer?
Well, not always. In reality, it depends on who you have running that thing. A good auctioneer (or auction house) can help build excitement, which leads to bigger bids. A bad auctioneer can make people fall asleep, which makes it harder for them to bid.
So how do you make sure that you get the exciting, bid-bringing auctioneer and not the dry, sleep-inducing auctioneer? I've got five tips to help you out!
Tip 1: Look at Reviews, Recommendations, and Reputation
Tip one requires you to do some research. If you want to do a good job choosing an auctioneer, then you need to do a little bit of digging.
Look at their online reviews, ask your network who they've used and loved, and check the rating on the Better Business Review.
Also ask your other vendors if they have recommendations for you. It may be that your venue has hosted lots of events and knows all the local auctioneers (and maybe they can even get you a discount!) The same can be said of any of your vendors, especially if they have been in the business for a while.
As NBC would tell you, the more you know...
Tip 2: Make Sure They Understand Your Needs
Are you having a special auction where your guests will bid on art as it is made? Does your auction involve a lot of naming rights (e.g., someone can bid on having a park bench named after their grandfather, someone else can bid on naming the whole park, etc.)? Are you auctioning off really expensive, big items?
The style of your live auction will, in large part, dictate some of your needs. Think about what you are auctioning - as well as other considerations, such as the technology you are using, the size of your auction, your goals for the event, the venue, etc. - and then try to find a good auctioneer who specializes in auctions similar to yours.
Tip 3: Check Out Their Credentials
There are a lot of different licenses that auctioneers can obtain to help show you that they are a qualified helper for your live auction.
Check out your state auction laws. What are the requirements for certification where you live? Make sure any auctioneer you consider has at least the minimum requirements.
However, on top of those minimums, there are other licenses, certifications, and professional memberships that you may want to ensure your auctioneer has.
Here are some examples:
- National Auctioneers Association
- Certified Auctioneers Institute
- Benefit Auctioneer Specialist
- Auction Marketing Management
Tip 4: How Technologically Advanced Are They?
As has everything in life, live auctions have changed and evolved as technology has grown. Has your potential auctioneer grown with those times?
Take a look at some of the best known and highly recommended auctioneers across the country - even if they aren't actually an option for you.
What are they doing that is making them so successful?
Now, look for some of those traits in anybody that you may use.
Tip 5: Look at Their Marketing
A big part of auctioneering is building up that excitement we talked about earlier. So how good is the auctioneer or auction house at building up the excitement around themselves?
If they can't get you - and search engines - convinced that you want to use them, then they may have the same problem getting your guests convinced that they should want to bid on your items.
So make sure that they have a way of exciting you with their very presence, no matter how they chose to get their name out there.
Some Final Thoughts on Choosing an Auctioneer for Your Live Auction
These tips are just beginners. There are other things you can do to find a good auctioneer. For example, maybe you can find out where a potential auctioneer is working another auction and - if it is open to the public - attend so that you can check him or her out for yourself.
And for more tips on auctions and fundraising, just subscribe to our newsletter!